Skip to main content

American Maker

Published 1960

Relates how Americans build, from youth throughout life, by using their ingenuity not only in technological advancement but in everyday efforts by everyone. Promo for 1960 Chevrolets, with excellent footage of Americans at home, work, and leisure, and a short sequence showing futuristic appliances and the manufacturing of telephones and transistor radios (in the United States).

Run time 24:58
Producer Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation
Audio/Visual Sd, C


Relates how Americans build, from youth throughout life, by using their ingenuity not only in technological advancement but in everyday efforts by everyone.

01:04:24:00 LS Beach with large rocks; surf crashing
01:04:51:00 LS Camera pans rocks; people playing in sand in distance
01:05:06:00 CU Sand castle on beach; American flag stuck in top
01:05:17:00 MS Two boys play in the sand by the ocean next to a sand castle
01:05:27:00 CU Two boys play in the sand; sand castle in frame
01:05:34:00 MS Two men build sand sculpture of a dog
01:05:40:00 CU Ship in a bottle is erected by hobbyist
01:05:51:00 CU Hot rivet is taken from coals; ironworker in hardhat lights his cigarette with
hot rivet
01:05:57:00 LS Construction worker throws hot rivet to co-worker who catches it in a basket
01:06:08:00 LS Workers install large piece of plate glass
01:06:14:00 LS Workers suspended on the side of an office building installing windows
01:06:25:00 LS Crane loads a ship
01:06:28:00 MS Two men in boat with outboard motor POV looking astern toward the Mackinac bridge
01:06:33:00 LS Large U.S. space rocket takes off
01:06:46:00 LS Children build wooden rocket ship (twice their size) with name "Moonik" painted
on it -- they are wearing toy space helmets -- this is a corny spoof of the
U.S. space program
01:06:53:00 CU Reaction shot: two little girls look at each other and shake their heads "no"
01:07:01:00 MS Man works in home workshop; carpentry tools visible
01:07:04:00 MS Man puts together washing machine
01:07:07:00 CU Woman's hands put together meal
01:07:23:00 MS Woman (housewife) works in modern kitchen
01:07:32:00 MS Man works in home workshop; carpentry tools visible
01:07:39:00 CU Piecrust is being trimmed
01:07:44:00 CU Electric saw cuts circle in wood
01:07:50:00 CU Woman's hands flute edges of pie crust
01:08:02:00 CU Assembly of mechanical part
01:08:07:00 CU Piecrust "lattice" is built
01:08:10:00 CU Round table being wood stained
01:08:13:00 CU Hands polish top of electric percolator
01:08:15:00 MS Man fixes electric coffee percolator
01:08:20:00 MS Woman puts finger to lips to taste meal
01:08:23:00 MS Boy with cowboy hat runs to mother; then he grabs bowl and eats right out of it
01:08:29:00 CU Face of dog (beagle) begging for food
01:08:35:00 CU Pie is set down on dinner table
01:08:36:00 MS Overhead shot of family sitting down to dinner
01:08:48:00 CU Woman pins hem of dress on a boy with an irritated look on his face
01:09:03:00 MS Man laying tile in backyard
01:09:08:00 MS Potter applies detail to pottery on wheel
01:09:16:00 MS Women work on assembly line making multicolored telephones
01:09:40:00 LS Women build table radios and transistor radios on assembly line
01:09:59:00 CU Doll's hair being brushed
01:10:10:00 MS Dolls traveling down conveyor belt (doll assembly line)
01:10:21:00 MS Women working textile factory
01:10:38:00 CU Electric machinery weaving cloth
01:11:00:00 LS Manufacture of trumpets
01:11:26:00 CU Crystal goblet is engraved
01:11:42:00 LS Glass blowing manufacture
01:11:58:00 CU Man looks through crystalline structure in bottom of dish, turns it around
01:12:02:00 CU Kaleidoscope-like light seen through crystal
01:12:08:00 MS Some kind of futuristic food warmer in a very unusual shape: sort of a globe
which sits on the table and splits open to reveal layers of cooked food; zoom in
01:12:19:00 CU Princess-type telephone is picked up and dialed (this is not a production-model
Princess phone but a prototype that was probably never marketed. It has the dial
in the handset but the phone has an unusual shape).
01:12:24:00 LS Tour buses drive by on highway
01:12:30:00 MS Tour buses are revealed to be models of buses; two men stand in foreground; one
sets down new model of car on model highway
01:12:35:00 MS Car drives straight into parking space; young man and women exit the car, man
grabs a portable television the couple holds hands and goes into building
marked with an awning that says "BEACH CLUB"
01:12:46:00 CU Television screen with cartoon of people on camels; beach in distant background
01:12:50:00 CU Couple in bathing suits lying on beach watching early prototype portable
television and laughing
01:12:56:00 CU Man attaches wires to flat panel TV screen prototype (fake); image of
Liberty Bell appears on screen
01:13:08:00 CU Old silver pieces; heavily engraved
01:13:15:00 MS Silversmith working at bench with eyepiece magnifier
01:13:20:00 CU Silversmith engraving silver piece
01:13:30:00 CU Hammer hitting piece of metal on an anvil
01:13:33:00 LS Blacksmith using hammer and anvil
01:13:39:00 LS Woman with spinning wheel in studio
01:13:45:00 MS Kitten caught up in wool yarn
01:13:49:00 LS Woman weaving on old-fashioned loom
01:14:02:00 LS Man working melted glass by hand
01:14:24:00 CU Small cooking pot being hammered
01:14:28:00 CU Man in Early American costume works on small cooking pot
01:14:53:00 LS Period recreation of Early American courtroom
01:15:07:00 MS Man in period costume (actor playing inventor Eli Whitney) argues before judges
01:16:32:00 MS Man in period costume demonstrates interchangeability of machined parts by
putting together a rifle in brief amount of time
01:17:32:00 MS Men in white wigs admire rifle
01:17:54:00 LS Men work in old rifle factory using hand tools
01:18:30:00 CU Water wheel used for power
01:18:34:00 CU Windmill blades spin
01:18:38:00 Lightning streaks in dark sky
01:18:41:00 CU Lightning flashes through window panes
01:18:48:00 LS Man walks through darkened room
01:18:51:00 MS Light goes on; man in worker's uniform has apparently pulled giant electrical
switch; this is supposed to symbolize the start of mass-production industry
in the US
01:18:53:00 CU Finger presses button marked "START"
01:18:56:00 CU Hand turns red lever
01:18:57:00 CU Finger presses switch
01:19:00:00 MS Man works at grinding wheel
01:19:05:00 MS Man guides wood through electric saw blades
01:19:08:00 MS Man uses electric grinding tool
01:19:12:00 MS Man uses large upright drill
01:19:13:00 MS A variety of grinding; shaping; cutting and drilling tools are shown in use
01:20:23:00 MS People on assembly lines welding inside cars
01:20:38:00 MS Man puts together engine in factory
01:20:42:00 CU Worker installs speedometer in factory
01:20:52:00 MS Women workers on assembly line, working on small parts, lowering and raising
handles, look robotic and monotonous
01:21:14:00 LS Half a car moves along an assembly line
01:21:31:00 LS Steering wheels manufactured
01:21:40:00 MS Car engines assembled
01:22:08:00 MS Car body lowered onto undercarriage ("body drop")
01:22:58:00 LS Car body spray painted by African-American worker
01:23:00:00 MS Wheels installed on car
01:23:22:00 MS Women on assembly line
01:23:45:00 CU Men's face with slight smiles
01:23:00:00 MS Auto workers sit around, eating lunch and talking
01:24:20:00 MS Overhead shot: brand-new shiny Chevrolet Impala drives up on assembly line
01:24:32:00 CU Wheels of car with whitewall tires swivel and spin as they are tested
01:24:42:00 CU Tester in car writes notes
01:24:50:00 CU Car is sprayed with water; windshield wipers are tested
01:25:00:00 LS Pickup truck with hood open; man closes hood
01:25:10:00 CU Precision instruments are used to test small car parts
01:25:40:00 MS Man works in control room behind glass windows at bank of electronic controls;
car engine visible through window
01:25:49:00 MS Man applies inspection stickers to inside of car window
01:25:55:00 MS Man in suit in car showroom watches as workers unshroud brand new car
01:26:14:00 CU Salesman opens small box and removes alarm clock
01:26:24:00 MS Salesman in store places price tag on television set; then turns it on; on
television screen a station wagon pulls into a driveway
01:26:37:00 CU Camera pans faces of workers on the line in a factory
01:26:45:00 MS Camera pans women workers sewing garments in factory
01:26:48:00 LS Seen from above, male factory workers leave work
01:26:50:00 LS Women factory workers leave work
01:26:54:00 LS Male and female factory workers leave work
01:26:57:00 MS Man carrying small parcel leaves his car
01:27:00:00 LS Small girl plays on backyard patio
01:27:03:00 LS Little girl runs to Father; leaps into his arms; he picks her up and spins her
01:27:10:00 MS Husband and wife give each other a kiss; barbecue smoke billows around them
01:27:17:00 LS Man wearing sailing clothes runs sail up mast of small boat
01:27:23:00 LS Little girl places toy animals in bathtub
01:27:30:00 LS Mother and daughter play in bathtub
01:27:40:00 LS Woman in white negligee gets into bed; turns off the light and settles in
01:27:55:00 MS Hands pour coffee from a Corningware coffee percolator; woman takes tray and
brings it over to her husband at poolside; he reaches for the telephone and
begins talking
01:28:16:00 LS Aerial view waterfront community; houses on marina
01:28:20:00 LS Aerial Daly City, California
01:28:25:00 LS Beach; could be California coastline; waves crashing; big rocks; people playing
in the distance; two children playing in the sand in the distance
01:28:45:00 MS Camera pans behind large rock outcropping

¥ 1:06:28:02
Colorful, over-the-shoulder shot of a little boy with a sailor cap on and an older man sitting at the rear of a motor boat which is speeding towards the Mackinac bridge.

¥ 1:28:12:08-
Two aerial shotsÑthe first of a marina area with massive housing developments on the hills in the background, and the second a different area (perhaps Daly City, California) with similar development.

HOBBIES LABOR LEISURE RECREATION ASSEMBLY LINES FOOD BARBECUES COOKING SHOP CARPENTRY CHILDREN ADULTS PARENTS MEN WOMEN WORKERS COUPLES KITCHENS FASHION CLOTHING HOUSEWORK SEX ROLES WHITNEY, ELI INTERCHANGEABLE PARTS MASS PRODUCTION INDUSTRY MACHINERY MANUFACTURING AUTOMOBILES CHEVROLET ADVERTISING TRANSPORTATION BEACHES SAND CASTLES Automobiles (Chevrolet) Automobiles Assembly lines Manufacturing Industry Workers Workers (women) Workers (idealized) Consumerism Cooking Housewives Inventions (futuristic) Television (futuristic) Telephones (futuristic) Telephones (manufacturing) Telephones Rivets Construction Workers (construction) Workers (ironworkers) Buildings Rockets Space race Children Rockets (amateur) Beaches Sand castles Scenics Dolls Dolls (manufacturing) Textile industry Monotony Factories (idealized) Whitney, Eli Boats Bridges Automobiles (dealers) Workers (leaving factory) Automobiles (assembly lines) Futurism Television sets (battery-operated) Television sets (portable) Television (watching)


Reviewer: Spuzz - - December 26, 2002
Subject: America Meets it's Maker! LMAO
In this atypical Jem Handy movie, the glories of America are narrowed down to the glories of Automobile production. In this spinning of events, The 'making' of things is loosely explored, from the boys making sandcastles (too close to the water!) to Mother preparing dinner (ham and cheese sandwiches!), this is a thinly veiled exploration until the film focuses on the REAL makers! The assembly line! From the historical re-enactments, with dialogue (if my memory serves me correctly, this is one of few rare times these films had actors saying anything rather then the narrator saying it for them) to the loyal bored people of the assembly line today, we must salute them! It's interesting how peppy the music gets during scenes of tired workers putting the next bolt on.
Prelinger Archives
by Unknown
Prelinger Archives
by Unknown
Prelinger Archives
by Branch (Louise)
( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by De Vry School Films, Inc.
( 1 reviews )